The Multiple Modernity
The modern architecture of the interwar period is often still described only with terms like modern or modernist architecture, avant-garde, functionalism, rationalism or International Style. However, since the 1980s considerable efforts were made to widen the view and to include the study of other developments of the modern movement. The exhibitions “Die andere Tradition” 1982 in Munich, “Die Klassische Moderne der Post” on Rudolf Vorhoelzer 1990, also in Munich, “Reform und Tradition” 1992 in Frankfurt on the Main should be mentioned as examples, as well as the rich anthology “trotzdem modern” by Kristiana Hartmann, published in 1994. Her work shows the cultural interweaving of the modern movement in its entire complexity. Lately, the four annual conferences “Neue Tradition” in Dresden, what provoked with the term “antimodernity” in 2007, are also relevant.
Taking the occasion of the centennial of the Bauhaus in 2019, a critical look should be taken at the research on the modern movement as a whole, or better: at the multiple modernity. Possible topics may touch upon, but are not limited to the self representation of the Bauhaus and its perception from the outside, the conflicts between the radical and the moderate representatives of the modern movement, the architectural historiography of the second half of the 20th century, which contributed considerably to the focus on the avant-garde movements, the discrepancy of design and realisation, that are particularly visible when iconic buildings of the modern movement are being restored, the transformation of modernity through its “export” out of Europe, and the role of national and regional variations of the modern movement during the development of national identities after World War I.